Oscars 2020: Best Actor Joaquin Phoenix talks about climate crisis and inequality, quotes late brother River
Phoenix spoke about gender inequality, racism, queer rights, indigenous rights, and animal rights. The actor also admitted that he has been difficult to work with in the past.
Joaquin Phoenix has been having one good ride at this year's awards circuit. Phoenix has done a clean sweep and won Best Actor for playing Arthur Fleck in 'Joker' at the BAFTAs, the Screen Actors' Guild and the Golden Globes.
Phoenix has now won the Best Actor Award at the 92nd Academy Awards and most folks were looking forward to Phoenix's speech. His Golden Globes speech sparked outrage for his use of the F-word but was also praised for talking about the Australian bushfires and the climate crisis.
At the SAG awards this year, Phoenix honored late actor Heath Ledger who played The Joker in 'The Dark Knight'. Interestingly, Phoenix is the second actor to win an Oscar for the same role as Ledger won the award posthumously in 2008.
During his speech tonight, Phoenix spoke about a multitude of things, highlighting the environmental crisis and honoring his late brother, River Phoenix.
“I’m full of so much gratitude right now,” he began. “I do not feel elevated above any of my fellow nominees because we share the same love – the love of film. This form of expression has given me the most extraordinary life. I don’t know what I would be without it.”
He continued: “The greatest gift it’s given me is the opportunity to use your voice for the voiceless. I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the frustrating issues that we are facing collectively and at times we feel or are made to feel that we champion different causes, but for me I see commonality."
Phoenix spoke about gender inequality, racism, queer rights, indigenous rights and animal rights. The actor also admitted that he has been difficult to work with in the past while also calling out Hollywood for taking private jets to Palm Springs.
Phoenix said, "We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources – we feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow, and when she gives birth, we steal her baby even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. So many people in this room have given me a second chance. That's when we're at our best—when we support each other. Not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow when we educate each other when we guide each other toward redemption."
However, the most touching moment of the speech came when Phoenix quoted his late brother, actor River Phoenix when he ended the speech. River Phoenix died of combined drug intoxication in 1993 at 23 years old.
He quoted a line River Phoenix wrote when he was 17 years old, saying, "Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow."